Dropped pants and mulberry stains 

It has often come to my attention that we do not lead regular lives.

Visiting other families is like going to a foreign country – different food, different customs, generally a whole different level of responsible living.

My daughter is also aware of this. I noticed her fascination with other families in her early years, when she would wallow in the boisterous good cheer of our friends’ larger households.

It’s complicated, but she is pretty much an only child and, at that, an only child of unconventional parents.

I have worried about this on and off for the 15 years of her life.

But it is only in more recent times that I have begun to see the value in our absurd lives. And they are absurd. We either eat lavishly and well, or we dine on popcorn and chocolate. We call each other ridiculous names, we shout and we yell, and then we snuggle down together for a Netflix marathon.

We dance with the cats and text each other emojis when we can’t be bothered walking the length of the house.

We also have hard times. It was during one of those hard times when my girl and I were both tense and upset, and wondering what would become of us, when her father walked past and his pants fell down.

We laughed. We laughed until we cried, much to his disgust.

The absurd had come to the rescue.

This week I thought I would do the kind mother thing and superglue a broken candle holder my daughter had brought home from work. In my enthusiasm for this role, I overdid the application and accidentally super-glued my wedding ring to my finger. It was not pleasant.

The following day, I went for a walk with a friend where we discovered a mulberry tree in a public place and took ourselves back to our childhood with a mulberry feast. When we came home to our children, we showed them our mulberry-stained hands and asked them to guess what we had found.

“A dead body?” my daughter asked. Those Netflix marathons have a lot to answer for.

These silver strands of absurdity, I am beginning to realise, are not the unravelling of a neatly packaged life. They are instead the moonshine on the water, the sparkle in a naughty eye and the saving of the rest of our unorganised mess.

I posted the account of the wedding ring, the loose pants and the dead body on social media.

“That nearly happened to me!” a friend replied about the wedding ring. “I just broke my toe while getting ready for work,” another replied, posting a photo of a small toe straying in a different direction to the others.

We do not lead regular lives, I know. But, so it appears, we are not the only ones.

Marie Low is a freelance journalist living her best absurd life in Gunnedah, New South Wales.

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Having said that, some smaller businesses do just want a presence and that’s it. They don’t care about being found on Google, they don’t need anything fancy, and they don’t want to pay someone to maintain their website. If that’s the case, then one of the other platforms may be a better fit.

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